I think the most difficult problem with painting a group of birds is to place them in a convincing composition. During the cold weather of last winter flocks of Fieldfares and Redwings were attracted to the holly berries and over ripe crab apples in the garden. I attempted to paint a watercolour of four Redwings in the branches of our crab apple. It wasn’t working so I enlisted the help of Painter XI.
I started the painting by making an outline watercolour drawing directly with a No. 6 Sable. Next a scan of two of the birds was opened in Painter. The outlines of the birds, tree branches, and the watercolour wash used for the sky are visible. The digital additions were done on two layers The first was used to add a transparent background fill and the second layer was used to add the berries.
It would be possible to develop detail and modify colours on subsequent layers with the aim of producing a digital print. With the file saved that’s an option that could be tried later. After this initial exploration I’m more attracted to taking the watercolour to a finished state with the use of body colour.